Vegan Hot & Sour Soup & The Breadmaker “Aha” Moment (100% Whole Wheat Bread)

It’s Somer Saturday and I figured 6 days in the raw was plenty. I admit I did end up sneaking a slice a toast, but I will tell you more about that in a minute. Part of my motivation for going raw was that my kids and I got pink eye, a vomiting bug and colds all in one week (maybe it was some insanely mean super virus?)….And my husband was out of town for most of it (lucky him). I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t eaten raw I would have laid in bed most of the week, but instead I was able to function fairly well. Then the icing on the cake, Friday afternoon while playing on the play-set swings in my backyard with my 3 year old, we had a collision of sorts and I ended up nearly putting my tooth through my bottom lip. I shall spare you the gory details, but let you know that I typically handle other people’s injuries amazingly well, I’m like a superhero and always know what to do with a calm and collected manner. However, when it comes to my own blood, especially copious amounts of it, not so much… it’s like kryptonite. I get woozy, and I nearly faint. Anywho….It was this “kick in the head” that motivated me to break the raw fast and eat something warm, comforting and easily slurpable past a fat lip.

Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

4 C. Vegetable Stock

2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)

1 T. miso (I used yellow, pretty sure most varieties will do)

dash or two of cayenne pepper

1 C. shitake mushrooms, slivered

2 T. Cornstarch

1/2 package Mori Nu silken tofu (extra firm) cut into 1/2 inch dice

2 T. finely grated ginger

3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal

3 T. rice vinegar

1 small can bamboo shoots, drained

1 small can water chestnuts, drained

1 t. sesame oil

pinch raw sugar

2 T. wood ear mushrooms (Chinese fungi, if you can’t find them, just omit them)

Method: Add all ingredients to soup pot. Bring to a low boil then let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes over low heat. Great for a swift kick to the head, colds or whatever else ails you.

Now for the Breadmaker “Aha” moment. My friend Emmy at emmycooks.com posted a breadmaker recipe this week. In her post she asked if anyone had a 100% whole wheat breadmaker loaf, and if they would like to share the recipe. Well, as you know I had posted a 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf recipe earlier this week. I decided to scale it down and test it out start to finish in my breadmaker to see how it would fare, on the express function. That’s right folks, 100% whole wheat vegan sandwich loaf in less than an hour flat (58 minutes to be precise). It would take more time, money, stress and gas $$ to drive to the store,  select the loaf, pay for it, and drive home. FOR REALS. Now you know why I had to cheat on my raw food week and have a slice of toast. AMAZING! Here is the scaled down version in case you don’t want to do the math 😉

Breadmaker Express 100% Whole Wheat Vegan Sandwich Loaf

1.5 C. warm water

2 C. whole wheat flour (from hard red winter wheat)

1 C. white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour

2 T. agave or pure maple syrup

1.5  heaping t. yeast (each measured and heaped individually)

2 T. vital wheat gluten (great for higher rise, less dense bread)

1.5  t. kosher salt

1.5 t. lecithin (make sure yours is soy based, makes bread soft without the addition of oil)

Method: Dump all ingredients into a bread-maker. Press express function. Walk away. Return in 58 minutes for delicious hot bread. Huzzah!

Week-long Green Smoothie Challenge Day 7

Final Stretch! A clairvoyant 😉 yoga teaching friend of mine visited yesterday and brought me a lovely bag of Spectrum Chia Seeds! (Something she says she would never think of giving someone as a gift). How did she know that I had been out of chia for weeks, but hadn’t wanted to make a special trip to the health food store? Gotta love good Karma! Thanks Carolyn!

I first learned about chia seeds when I read “Born to Run” last year by Christopher McDougall. In the book he describes them almost as a magical energy source consumed by the Tarahumara Indians who live in Copper Canyon in Mexico and run 100 miles at a time while barely breaking a sweat. Scott Jurek, a vegan ultra-runner joins them in an amazing race at the height of the story. Love the book, it’s a hoot and totally worth a read for runners and non-runners alike!

I didn’t sample them however, until my brother Curtis gave me a taste of his chia seed drink while we were running Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back last year. I thought, hmmm, interesting!  It’s incredibly good for athletes as a source of fuel in the form of healthy fats and protein. It also aids with retaining hydration. Nutritionally, chia seeds pack a similar punch to flax seeds in the form of essential fatty acids (omega 3’s), but they don’t have to be ground in order for your body to absorb the nutrients.

Here is what I ate today:

Breakfast: 5 C. packed organic baby spinach, 2 medium bananas, 2 C. frozen berry blend and 4 C. water. Notice no flax, that’s because I added 1.5 T. of chia seeds to my smoothie after I blended it. The chia seeds absorb water and expand. The best way I can describe the effect is they are like a little poppy seed inside a granule of cooked tapioca after they are soaked in liquid, kinda like little frog eggs! If the texture bothers you, you can always blend the chia seeds into the smoothie!

Again, this made 2 quarts, I drank one for breakfast and saved one in the fridge for later.

Mid Morning Snack: 1 cup of remaining leftover veggie soup (I froze it earlier in the week in 1 C. portions)

Lunch: Second green smoothie

Afternoon Snack: 3 C. steamed zucchini seasoned with a dash of red pepper flakes and 1 T. bragg’s liquid aminos.

Dinner: 2 C. of my favorite Morrocan Lentil Soup. I all ready posted it on the blog, but here is the challenge approved recipe (few minor adjustments!) You can use any lentils you like, but the red ones really give it a beautiful color.

Morrocan Lentil Soup

2 large onions, chopped

2 C. carrots, chopped

4 cloves minced garlic

1 heaped t. ground coriander

2 heaped t. ground cumin

1 t. turmeric

2 t. smoked paprika

1 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground black pepper

1/2 to 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes

8 C. water

2 T. better than bullion’s vegetable base

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

2 C. dry red lentils, rinsed and picked over

1/2 C. chopped fresh parsley

1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro

juice of one lemon

Directions: Cook all ingredients except last 3 on stove-top for 30 minutes in large saucepan or in crock-pot on low for 6-8 hours. For texture variation you can pulse it a few times with a stick blender. Add lemon, parsley and cilantro just before serving. This recipe is adapted from my husband’s sister. She made it at our house one time, it was utterly divine. It is one of my favorite meals, I could eat it at least once a week. I really like sticking it in the crock-pot because it saves kitchen time and it thickens really beautifully, just make sure you use a really big crock-pot so it doesn’t boil over the edges! This makes 6 two cup servings and keeps really well in the fridge for leftovers.
Here are the stats for my final day:
Target:
Eaten:

Calories

under 1,400
1003x

Carbohydrate

under 245 g
206 g 76%x

Protein

under 63 g
46 g 17%x

Fat

under 19 g
8 g 6%x

Water

over 8 glasses
8-1/3 glassesx
Target:
Eaten:

Dietary Fiber

over 25 g
56 gx

Saturated Fat

under 16 g
1 gx

Trans Fat

under 2 g
0 gx

Cholesterol

under 300 mg
0 mgx

Sodium

under 1,500 mg
1405 mgx
Target:
Eaten:

Sugars

under 100 g
73 gx

Vitamin A

over 2,333 IU
6623 IUx

Vitamin C

over 75 mg
135 mgx

Calcium

over 1,000 mg
651 mgx

Iron

over 18 mg
18 mgx

Day 2 Week-long Green Smoothie Challenge

For those of you wondering how you will possibly feel full while doing the green smoothie diet, check out this image which I have seen in the movies Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and Forks over Knives:

Vegetables make your stomach seriously full! 

That being said,  day two was a little more challenging then day 1. Had some headaches and tiredness, but that is just as likely from only averaging 5 hours of sleep for the last few nights as it is from the challenge. It was good for me to experience though because it helps me to sympathize with those that are doing this cold turkey. Green smoothies and crazy amounts of veggies were all ready making up most of my daily diet.  Those who are doing this after eating a Standard American Diet will probably suffer a bit, but don’t worry, it will all be worth it and hopefully at the end of this challenge you will have a desire to eat more greens and whole foods then you used to!

So here is the what I had today:

Breakfast: Kale green smoothie with 4 C. organic packed kale, 2 medium bananas, 2 cups organic fruit blend, quarter lemon,  stevia to taste, this made 2 quarts, one for breakfast and one for later for lunch. Kale is more bitter then spinach, but the lemon helps to offset the bitterness (thanks to Allison for this tip!) Somehow the kale made me feel even fuller then the spinach, probably because the nutritional content in kale is off the charts.

For a snacks I had broccoli, celery, cucumber (about a cup each) and 1/2 C. hummus.

For lunch I had my second kale green smoothie (surprise!)

For Dinner: Ahhh, now for the happy part of my day! Eating a big bowl (3 Cups) of the Big Ol’ Pot of Veggie Soup was nice for a change to have something warm! I don’t know how raw foodists do all cold all the time, especially in winter! It was nice and filling and I found that I couldn’t eat the salad I had planned. It was stacked to the brim with veggies, so it didn’t hurt me nutritionally that I didn’t get my salad in.

I ended up using yellow summer squash instead of the zucchini because that’s what I had on hand, they are essentially the same nutrition wise.

I had planned on having some lovely steamed veggies during the day, but it was one of those crazy days filled with babysitting 3 busy toddlers so I never got around to it. Needless to say, I wasn’t really hungry enough to eat it anyway.

I went shopping last night to stock up on items for the diet and there was all sorts of food everywhere, I’m focused enough that none of it made me want to give in. I am sure I will be singing a different tune by the end of the week, but for now having to be accountable to others and being in charge of the blog posts is keeping me on track!

 

 

Here are my stats for the day: I was low on vitamin A, iron and calcium, but everything else was stellar. Doubt I ever got such good stats before I switched over to a plant based diet. And again, I take a multivitamin supplement to take care of any vitamin deficiencies. Peace Out!

Target:
Eaten:

Calories

under 1,400
929x

Carbohydrate

under 245 g
191 g 76%x

Protein

under 63 g
37 g 15%x

Fat

under 19 g
10 g 9%x

Water

over 8 glasses
8-1/8 glassesx

 

Target:
Eaten:

Dietary Fiber

over 25 g
51 gx

Saturated Fat

under 16 g
1 gx

Trans Fat

under 2 g
0 gx

Cholesterol

under 300 mg
0 mgx

Sodium

under 1,400 mg
793 mgx

 

Target:
Eaten:

Sugars

under 88 g
70 gx

Vitamin A

over 2,333 IU
1821 IUx

Vitamin C

over 75 mg
574 mgx

Calcium

over 1,000 mg
688 mgx

Iron

over 18 mg
12 mgx

Week 1: Chronicles from Jan 8, 2012

Technically, this was our first full week, but we started this adventure on the 3rd. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep a log and I wasn’t completely on board. So, here is how we ate for dinner the first full week. Breakfasts were easy – Oatmeal, toast, granola, or juice – lots of juice! Last night as we made pineapple, carrot, orange, ginger juice and Matt asked me why we hadn’t gotten a good juicer before now and I just groaned. But, I give him credit for being overly cautious on investments that could be wasted (I’m not the only one with wasted kitchen gadgets, right?)
Dinners:
Sunday:
Minestrone
Salad w/balsamic & olive oil
Roasted garlic bread from Costco dipped in balsamic/olive oil
Smoothie with spinach and other fruits

Monday:
Baked refried bean, rice, & corn flautas
Guacamole
Lettuce and Veggie Salad w/vegan ranch (super delicious recipe)
Vegan Chocolate Cake (Moosewood Collection Cookbook – but I didn’t bake long enough, though the edges were super tasty)

Tuesday:
Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers on whole wheat buns with lettuce, onion, tomato, vegenaise & homemade ketchup
Russet & Sweet potato fries – Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic powder, 30-40 minutes at 425-450 degrees, flipping fries halfway through
Steamed Broccoli with TJ’s lemon pepper grinder & fake butter (still not my favorite)
Smoothie – the lime sort of ruined it

Wednesday:
Marinated Tofu with Cold Peanut Noodles (treated it like a salad, much like soba salad from Sage’s) – recipe from Martha Stewart here
Substituted cabbage for pea shoots and cutting the jicama and radishes was a bit fussy – the whole thing was a bit fussy with two sauces, but both were good. I wasn’t a huge fan of the marinated tofu, but we’ll see how it is tomorrow after it marinates overnight. Also, didn’t check noodles for eggs until right before eating – had egg whites, but we didn’t worry too much about it. Worth paying attention to next time.

Thursday:
Salad with vegan ranch – yum! Carrots, cukes, toasted sliced almonds, scallions, lettuce, last of the lima beans
Roasted garlic bread with oil/balsamic (thank goodness Costco restocked with Balsamic this week!)
Rigatoni with roasted garden vegetable sauce from this summer’s garden (roasted peppers (hot & sweet), tomatoes, garlic, onions, chives, oregano, etc. roasted until soft, pureed and frozen)
Parmesan (optional)

Friday:
Date Night! (Himalayan Kitchen for Nepalese and Indian food)
Kids get quesadillas, salsa/sour cream mix, oranges & grapes

Saturday was car shopping – ALL DAY!
Leftovers way too late at night for everyone and now we have a fridge full of produce and nothing prepared. YIKES! Don’t worry, I have beans in the crock pot.

My Minestrone:
Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 15 oz can beans, mostly mashed
2 medium-large yukon gold potatoes, chopped in small cubes
2 c. lima beans (1 c. dried cooked with 2×3 in kombu + 1 T salt for about 1 hour)
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
parmesan rind, chopped
1 cube Rapunzel Vegetable bouillon cube
2 handfuls frozen green beans
2 handfuls chopped cabbage
about 1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/2 – 1 T Braggs liquid aminos
Salt & Pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan (optional)
Saute onion, carrots & celery in olive oil until soft. Add to slow cooker with beans, potatoes, tomatoes, parmesan, bouillon & water to cover. Cook on high or low, depending on how long you have. I started with high, put it on low during church, cranked back up to high when I got home. Add green beans, cabbage and parsley in the last hour or so. Add liquid aminos and salt and pepper to taste. Optional – serve with grated Parmesan.

Baked taquitos/flautas:
Homemade refried pinto beans: sauteed about 1 c. (1 medium) diced onion in 3-4 T olive oil until soft. Added 1 T cumin, cooked for 1 minute, then added about 3 c. leftover pintos from last week’s burritos, reserving the cooking liquid. Mash beans and let cook until starting to dry. Add about 1 c. cooking liquid and cook until soft. Add a dash of cayenne. Added 2-3 T leftover diced scallion.
For Flautas:
Mix bean mixture with some rice, don’t know how much, maybe 1/2 -1 c. depending on needs.
Spread about 2-3 T (or whatever looks good) on lower third of tortilla, top with a bit of corn or other veggies (peppers?), and roll up. Make as many as you need or have beans for. I added cheese to the kids ones.
Brush on or spray finished rolls with oil. Bake on a lined/greased cookie sheet at 425 for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
For Guacamole:
3 avocados
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 diced tomatoes, depending on size
Juice of at least one lime
Dollop of sour cream
salt
pepper

Vegan Ranch: This was really good, rivaling even BYU Ranch
Ingredients:
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 scallion, chopped
1 pretty small handful fresh chopped parsley
1/2 tsp fresh chopped dill or 1/4 tsp dried

Toss all in mini-food processor (blender is too big & powerful), and whizz up until chopped and mixed.
Yield: Just over 1 cup